Road Safety Week is running from 18th November until 24th November, courtesy of the charity ‘Brake’. Every 20 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British Road. Road Safety Week looks to finding ways to avoid these preventable deaths, and this year the theme is “Step Up for Safe Streets”. This theme focuses on design-led solutions that allow the public to get around healthily and safely.

Road Safety Week 2019 wants to spread awareness in relation to how the current mechanisms in place can be improved, and states that policy-makers need to ‘step up and prioritise safe spaces for travel on foot and by bike and ensure that the vehicles that remain on our roads use ultra-low emission technology’.

This year’s theme therefore brings cycling to the forefront. With the current need to reduce the rate of climate change, cycling is an ideal way to get around because it is both healthy and 0% emission. However, only 2% of journeys in the UK are currently travelled by bike. However, the UK is behind other European countries in its amount of cyclists. Brake has identified ‘a lack of safety cycling routes’ as a key reason for the lack of cycling in the UK, and that a survey found that 39% of non-cyclists would be persuaded to cycle if there were better cycling routes.In 2015, there were 100 cyclist deaths and 3,239 serious injuries in the UK. In addition to preventing needless human suffering, Brake has also highlighted the fact that it carries a ‘significant economic benefit’. Every road death is estimated to cost the British economy £1.8 million, due to the costs incurred for emergency services, criminal justice, insurance pay outs and human costs.

Although there are current ‘safe systems’ in place to avoid serious injuries and fatalities when using bicycles on our roads, these systems can definitely be improved to avoid these statistics increasing. The infrastructure itself needs to change to become safer for cyclists. This includes making the roads wider and creating on-road cycle lanes that are separate from motorists. In the meantime, Brake describes how decreasing motorist speed is one of the principal ways in which cycling can be made safer.

As a firm experienced in dealing with the effects of such claims, from the most minor to most severe, our advice to you would be to always ensure that you take all appropriate and available safety measures.

To discuss an accident that you or a family member have been involved in, call our Personal Injury team now on 0800 804 7450 or submit your claim online and our team will be able to offer expert advice and practical support – it’s free and you’ll be able to discuss your situation with a specialist claims solicitor.